Can Onboarding Lock-in B2B Client Loyalty?

Joe Pitzo July 28th, 2017
Treasury Management

Research shows 7 in 10 corporate customers ready to switch banks

Mention the concept of loyalty, and many of us think immediately of our college alma mater or favorite pro sports team. For others, it’s a product or service we swear by, perhaps a car or a sweatshirt we’ve held onto far past its natural lifespan, all for sentimental reasons.

In business, it’s often a supplier who’s moved from transaction facilitator to trusted advisor, the one who’s the first call we make to solve a problem or ask for guidance. It could be a form of technology that’s so embedded into our daily responsibilities we can’t imagine doing our jobs without it.

For banks, customer and product loyalty still exist, but they’re no longer something to take for granted. Both consumers and corporate customers have exponentially more choices today than just a few years ago—and many of these options include non-traditional players.

Disruptive entrants have raised the bar for all

A recent tally shows more than 4,000 active Fintech startups in the U.S., in addition to more than 10,000 FDIC-insured banks and credit unions. Any way you look at it, that’s a healthy number of potential options—especially when the Fintech category barely registered as a blip on the radar fifteen years ago.

Fintechs, like their predecessors in other industries, are shaking up our how we do business. They’re following earlier disruptors such as Amazon (same-day Prime delivery), Uber (transit on demand), and Apple (the iTunes revolution). All have upended the typical models for product delivery.

More importantly, these innovators have set a new bar for customer satisfaction with swift, completely digital experiences that emphasize speed, convenience and personalized service. Customers now find value in every facet of their experience, from ordering and payment to delivery and customer support; these rich interactions extend far beyond product functionality.

It’s against these heightened expectations that banks—and all businesses—must now compete.

Treasury management onboarding frustrates bank customers

In light of these new requirements, is it any wonder SMB customers have a long wish list of improvements for their bank’s treasury management onboarding process? Onboarding, after all, should be the honeymoon period at the start of a long and prosperous relationship. In reality, it’s often a time-consuming and difficult waiting period that gives your customer ample time for buyer’s remorse. And all this before they even begin using your product or service.

According to recent research:

  • More than two-thirds of corporate customers are dissatisfied with their bank’s treasury management onboarding process.
  • Seven in 10 would consider switching banks for a better experience.
  • Nearly half describe lengthy treasury implementations as a “recurring pain point.”

While corporate customers still view banks more favorably for security, reliability and safe transactions, alternative providers outperformed financial institutions at ease of new account and product set up, as well as resolving problems quickly and effectively.

Automation can remove obstacles to customer satisfaction

Creating loyal, satisfied customers should begin before the ink is dry on the product contract. Banks know this, but a complex, paper-driven onboarding process that involves multiple departments, numerous systems and strict regulations doesn’t make it easy.

That’s why automated treasury management onboarding technologies are a must for forward-thinking financial institutions. With more options than ever before, every aspect of sales, implementation and service should drive toward attracting and retaining customers.

An automated system, with versatile capabilities such as electronic forms and signatures, workflows for document routing and approval, and alerts to notify stakeholders of at-risk deliverables, can address these common customer pain points:

  • Inability to track implementation status
  • Poor communication from the bank
  • Too many paper forms
  • Implementations that take too long
  • Multiple requests for the same information

In addition, automated platforms tame the paper jungle by creating a shared repository of data that users across the bank can access. Automated platforms, with built-in support for Know Your Customer (KYC) and other regulatory requirements, also reduce the burden of compliance for all involved.

Few can argue that customer satisfaction and loyalty remain critical to long-term success.

As new players and leading banks broaden their perspective beyond product features and price, to the overall experience of their wholesale customers, a “status quo” approach to treasury management onboarding will no longer be enough to attract and sustain these valuable relationships and revenue streams.

What do your SMB customers really expect during onboarding? This infographic provides some new research-backed insights into customers’ current thought patterns.

This content is accurate at the time of publication and may not be updated.